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Did you know that if you’re a parent, you can decide who your children are friends with? This plan doesn’t work entirely if you start trying to do this when they are teenagers; but there is some merit to the idea. When your children are little, you are the one that decides who they spend time with and how much time they spend with everyone. Use the opportunity when they’re young to begin doing the little things, and planning for the pre-teen and teenage years.

Screen their friends. It’s simple really. Encourage quality time with those people you want them to be around, and limit the time with those less positive influences. Just don’t become judgemental and separatist in your behavior.

Awareness. Become aware of who they are spending time around and become involved in their social life when the opportunities are there. Regular conversation with the

SchoolBe involved in the social parts of school life. Friendships at school are totally different than church friendships, and can quickly become a loud voice in your kids life.

Be Smart. Specifically in regards to smart phones. A parent who doesn’t know their kid’s FaceBook password is a parent who doesn’t know the company their kids keep.

Make yourself friendly. Make it a goal of yours to become friends with the friends of your kids. Volunteer to drive kids to events, host get-togethers at your house, and do whatever it takes to responsibly become a part of the lives of the kids around your children.

I Corinthians 15:33 “Bad company corrupts good character.”


I ve heard it said that when it comes to parenting, the days are long, but the years are short. It s true, isn't it? Eighteen years feel like such a long time, and then suddenly we have a 9-year-old that is ½ way finished with his time in our home! If you have young children, then know that it s a whirlwind coming to get you and those babies will be up and around in no time. If you are the parent of teenagers, then I m sure it s already hit you full in the face.

In the grand scheme of your child s life, the quantity of time they spend in your home is a drop in the bucket. However, the quality of that time they have is entirely up to you. Parenting intentionally means that we recognize the shortness of what we have to work with, while also acknowledging the seriousness of what we have to carry out in that short amount of time.

Could I challenge you to paint a picture of what you'd want that 18-year-old birthday party to look like? Take a moment to imagine a huge send off party for your daughter or son. Imagine that you gathered together everyone that has ever influenced your child in a positive way. Imagine the room is full of all the voices they ve heard over the year s family, friends, small group leaders, baseball coaches, gymnastics instructors, schoolteachers, and neighborhood buddies. They are all gathered together to celebrate the future of your son or daughter, and they ve all had a role in helping to make them who they are.

Got the picture in your mind's eye? Now ponder these questions:Are any of these people in their lives now?Who is missing right now from their life that you would want at this celebration? Are there some people at the party that you d rather not be there?

To really value the voices our children have in their lives, we have to begin to imagine the end of their time with us. Every word your child hears from the influences in their life, are already planning this send off party; whether you know it or not.

Whether you know it or not, you ve been granted the role of influencing these young children in your home. God has given you the responsibility of managing their time in your home, and while they eventually will make their own decisions and choose their own path in life, it s your influence now that helps make those decisions and paths more clear for them.


Silencing Bad Voices

Jonathan Cliff  —  September 11, 2013 — Leave a comment


Get out your parental calculator. You know the device, right? This is the tool where you begin to subtract and add certain people from your childrens lives. This is hard to do, and you have to be intentional and consistent with it. If you wait until your children are teenagers it becomes almost impossible, so begin young so you can teach your children to use the relationship calculator on their own later in life.

Begin with subtracting the relationships that need to go away. I m not advocating the employment of a hit man or secretly packing up your belongings and making a run for the border. However, there are things you can do about the damaging voices in your kid s life. If it s another child that is causing the problem then there are a few things you can do.

Start with limiting the interactions your child has with them. In our family there are a few neighborhood friends that our children cannot play with away from our home. We don’t take away the relationship, but we bring it under our home so that we can listen and see.

For some relationships you may need to follow-up with your children and help them process what they hear. This is especially true of their teachers and coaches at school, because you are not there to hear all the time. Tell your children that everyone in the world has the right to a bad day occasionally, and encourage them to offer forgiveness for hurtful words; but at the same time encourage them to filter what they hear through the truth that you ve established in your home.


It can be easy to look at some parents and think to yourself, “I bet they were a born natural” or “They are so lucky their kids are so great.” But after spending time with some successful parents I’ve learned that many of them are scarred by bad parenting experiences, their own past mistakes, and a wish to do better than what they’ve previously experienced.

What separates great parents from the pack is an authenticity about their past mistakes.  They see themselves as ‘works in progress’ and not perfect. They don’t have to try to be perfect, they’ve already come to realize they never will be. There is no sense of superiority in their lives, and if you try to put that on them they will quickly distance from the label.

Their past mistakes don’t define them, and instead inspire them to be different. Their mistakes are theirs to own, but their children have seen them grow out of bad habits like a bad temper, not keeping promises, or lack of margin in private lives.

The only thing that really matters to them is the relationship. They are willing to be authentic with their kids because they value the relationship with their children over everything else. Nobody has ever had to ask forgiveness of somebody they don’t know, the relationship being valued opens the door for forgiveness later if needed.

They create value in their family. They value family with their time, and their commitments. They value what they choose to do with their family, and they put value on their children with their words. Their words have meaning in the lives of their kids because of this quality.

There are no perfect parents, and there are no mistake-free ways of parenting. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can get about the business of parenting the way God has made us to parent. Then we can truly begin to be confident in who we are.



D6 Louisville

I’ve got two FREE tickets to the D6 Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference is October 16-18, 2013 at the Galt House in Louisville. See how to win tickets by entering the contest below!  These are for real $289 face value for each!  

After making Dallas its home for four years, the D6 Conference is expanding to two locations in 2013. The two-day format in Louisville offers a broad overview of the family ministry movement, while PreCon Labs the day before allows attendees to focus on particular ministry or family needs.

Think of D6 Louisville as a Family Ministry Expo where leading voices of Family Ministry will unpack how-tos of implementing generational discipleship. Get ready for a high-energy event packed full of amazing worship, engaging activities, and dynamic communicators.



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